On October 25th, labeled as the International Butterfly Skin Day, “El Caso de Los Intocables” went viral in Spanish social media platforms. “El Caso de Los Intocables” is a 10-minute short film from DEBRA Butterfly Skin, a national charity for people affected by Epidermolysis bullosa or EB – a rare, genetic and currently incurable skin condition. The disease, also known as “Butterfly Skin”, makes the skin so fragile that it can tear with the slightest touch or a blister. Currently, there are approximately 500-700 people with the condition in Spain.
The charity has been awarded the recognition of the Home Secretary. And every year, they use the 25th of October as the International Butterfly Skin Day to launch a video or communication release to create a public campaign.
Regarding the “Butterfly Skin”, its main characteristics are extreme fragility of the skin, where the lightest touch can cause open wounds, blistering and peeling of the skin. Hence, the name of “butterfly skin” because the skin is as fragile as butterfly’s wings. If you are interested in learning more about it or collaborating with them you can do so here.
The charity tries to gain visibility and awareness of the disease with a positive and strong emotional appeal with its public campaign. It also tries to foster a sense of empathy and positiveness to overcome the stigma that people with the condition are untouchable.
“We ask the public administration to assume the costs of the citizens of the families to support the Piel Mariposa families in this struggle with pain.”
The campaign’s objectives are to raise unconditional respect and support, along with a callout to the government and legislation for more funds for research and find a cure. Or in the words of the campaign itself – “Make the invisible visible,” and “Make the untouchable touchable.”
What makes it so good
1.The social context
The social context plays an important role in the impact of the campaign as the featuring actors are well-known celebrities from the Spanish entertainment world. The campaign features actors, who appear in series, such as La Casa de Papel, Elite and Vis a Vis, which have been social phenomenons in Spain and worldwide.
Some of the big names featured this year were Antonio de la Torre, Edu Soto, Javi Gutiérrez, Toni Acosta, Itziar Castro, Jaime Lorente, Maggie Civantos, Pedro Moreno and Yolanda Ramos.
2. The superhero role
This year, DEBRA used the role of a superhero as a double-figure. First, it showed that superheroes are people to be admired for what they do, as well as their daily life settings. Second, DEBRA applies this “Superman” perception to people with butterfly skin, meaning they also can be superheroes and have a normal life and job. Then, it uses the idea of “superhero” diversity – being of all forms, backgrounds, and shapes – to illustrate a parallel to the different levels of “Butterfly Skin” patients. Essentially, DEBRA explains that people such as superheroes have strengths and powers and this is just the same as butterfly skin patients.
3. Language, Visuals, and Music
The simple language and metaphors allow all audiences to understand the situation. The character of the “director” and different stories that interrelate help create a storyline and make it easier to follow. The director has some humorous situations that help the video stay positive and light-hearted.
The visual components such as lighting and transparency give an overall “beauty”, creating a positive attitude towards the children and disease. This is a different approach to their previous campaign in 2018, where it was filmed in black and white. The cinematography visuals show the condition as something positive or calling it out to normalize the situation. But, DEBRA does show how bad the condition can get without being explicit.
On that note, the up-tone and calm music helps the message stay positivity and impulse the normalization of the condition.
4. You get to put yourself in their shoes.
The film uses real and personal experiences that can relate to everyone through the perspective of someone who has the disease. This way, an action so simple as taking a bus is seen as a very difficult and shameful task for someone with Butterfly Skin.
[The message is so heartwarming that it even made the writer – aka me – cry ]
My personal favorite is the scene where they ask the kid: “Where does it hurt you more? and he replies, “When I get the bus”, and “Everyone stares at me and gets away.”
To conclude I have a question to you.
What do you think of using famous actors for charity campaigns? Do we share these campaigns because we care or because the actors are in it?